A volunteer from Hayes has been awarded with a British Empire Medal for her services to the Sikh community.
Ms Narpinderjit Mann, 39, worked with the charity United Sikhs to help hundreds of Indian and Pakistani nationals to return home.
She said: “In 2009 so many students came here to the UK from India and Pakistan and were struggling.
“So I started by having a word with the local temple, they gave us a space to work. We helped them with CVs.
“Then homeless people started coming to our help desk with nowhere to eat or sleep and wanted to go back to India and Pakistan so I made phone calls.”
People seeking to return to their home countries are often scared to contact the Home Office for fear of being arrested or detained.
Ms Mann told getwestlondon: “They were scared to directly contact the home office and didn’t have the communication skills to talk to them.
“They had no passport, and no details as such so I just used my contacts and spoke to Pakistan high commission and the home office.
Ms Mann, who says helping people is her main hobby and goal, is honoured to received the BME.
She said: “I’m so proud to have received this honour and that my work for the last six years has been recognised. I was over the moon and very emotional to be recognised for my work in the community.”
United Sikhs are based within the Ealing community, attending the Singh Sabha Gurdwara.
Ms acted as a crucial conduit between Immigration Enforcement (IE) and individuals, arranging paperwork and meeting IE staff to progress cases. She spent her free time counselling individuals, reassuring their travel arrangements.
Describing what it feels like when someone she’s helped is returned home, she said: “Money is not a matter, when you help some and they give you their blessing that’s worth a million dollars.